UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Post-Soviet Press Group

SSEES's famous Post-Soviet Press Group (PSPG) provides a weekly opportunity to discuss developments in states of the former Soviet Union.

We discuss news from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Moldova, the South Caucasian states, and Central Asia, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, the mass media, business, the environment, NGOs, human rights, culture, economics, and religion.

The core activity of the Group involves members presenting and discussing news items during weekly meetings. These meetings take place in person on Wednesdays, 13:00-14:00, in Terms 1 and 2 (excluding Reading Weeks) in the Masaryk Room on the fourth floor of the SSEES building. These meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule.

Members are free to pick any story they wish, with no need to notify the Group beforehand. In practice, some members choose an issue to follow throughout the year, making them the “go-to person” in the Group on a particular topic. Members are also free simply to listen to the discussion.

When presenting a news item, the Press Group member gives a short summary, before opening up to discussion with other members, who can add details and ask follow-up questions. 

Written summaries of these news reports are then published each week and circulated to members of the Press Group in the Bulletin. Instructions on how to prepare material for inclusion in the Bulletin are available. Sign up to receive the weekly Bulletin. In addition, longer pieces are published on the  Post-Soviet Briefblog, alongside commentary from SSEES academics.

Several guest speakers are invited each year to the Wednesday lunchtime meetings. Past speakers have included Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot), Boris Akunin (Russian novelist), Shaun Walker (The Guardian), and Edward Lucas (formerly of The Economist).

Post-Soviet Press Group

Day: Wednesdays (Term 1 & 2, excluding Reading Weeks)
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue:  For the 2022/23 academic year, the PSPG will be held in-person in the Masaryk room.

Postgraduate students at SSEES who are keen to be more involved with the Press Group are encouraged to become Editorial Assistants (EAs).

EAs have a number of tasks, including: helping to select guest speakers; helping put together the weekly Bulletin; and helping to edit submissions for the Brief

If this is of interest, please get in touch with the Press Group coordinator, Dr Rasmus Nilsson (r.nilsson@ucl.ac.uk) 

Event Videos:

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